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Zelenskyy and Erdoğan discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine in phone call

Ukrainian and Turkish presidents discussed bilateral relations, the situation in the Middle East and Ukraine’s Peace Formula.
Zelenskyy ukrainian nato flag
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Photo: president.gov.ua
Zelenskyy and Erdoğan discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine in phone call

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 21 October, according to Ukraine’s Presidential Office.

Zelenskyy and Erdoğan discussed bilateral relations, Russia’s war against Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East, and Ukraine’s Peace Formula.

“Even in the face of new global challenges, the world must continue to make efforts to support the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula. Türkiye’s voice and stance in this matter are crucial,” President Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian President thanked Türkiye for participating in previous consultations at the level of national security advisors and for its readiness to send a representative to the upcoming Peace Formula meeting in Malta next week. More than 50 states already expected to attend the meeting, Zelenskyy stated later in his daily video address to Ukrainian citizens.

President Zelenskyy noted “the involvement of Turkish experts in the first Defense Industry Forum in Kyiv” and the preparation for a conference on Ukraine’s recovery to be held in Türkiye in November 2023.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed further developments in bilateral relations and the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which Russia suspended unilaterally on 17 July.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that despite Russia’s disruption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Ukraine “remains a global food security guarantor and enables the functioning of an alternative humanitarian route in the Black Sea.”

Furthermore, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the situation in the Middle East and agreed on the need to ensure the protection of civilians and respect for humanitarian law.

“Unfortunately, Ukraine understands all too well what war and civilian casualties mean. Therefore, we strongly condemn any terrorist methods and violence and advocate against further escalation,” Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian and Turkish leaders last spoke in late July after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, a UN-brokered agreement between Russia and Ukraine, allowed Ukraine to partially resume the exports of grains and other agricultural products through Black Sea shipping routes blocked since the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022. After Russia terminated the grain deal, Ukraine started to use an alternative humanitarian way to transport goods and grain from its Black Sea ports, despite Russia’s attacks on port facilities and grain infrastructure.

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